Pan-fried kippers with dill butter

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Pan-fried kippers with dill butter


Some people love them, others hate them, but kippers are a favourite of mine because of their smoky saltiness, which I really enjoy first thing in the morning. I particularly like them with dill butter because the herb complements fish perfectly.

4 kipper fillets

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp sunflower oil

Dill butter, to serve

½ lemon, to serve

1 Prepare the kippers by removing the head and any fins and wiping the fish clean with kitchen paper. Season with a little pepper. Add the sunflower oil to a large frying pan on a medium–high heat and fry the kippers, flesh side down first, for 2–3 minutes, then turn the fish over and fry for a further 2–3 minutes. The skin should be crispy and the flesh hot and cooked through.

2 Place the kippers on plates, flesh side up, with a spoonful of dill butter on top, and serve with lemon and some thin slices of brown bread.

Rachel’s tip

These can easily be grilled rather than fried, if you prefer. Preheat the grill to medium–high, rub the sunflower oil over the kippers and grill for 2–3 minutes, flesh side up, then turn the fish over and grill for a further 2–3 minutes.

Mushroom soup with stuffed mushrooms


An ideal dish if you are entertaining friends for lunch and need something that little bit special, or as a starter for a dinner party.

For the soup

1 onion, peeled and quartered

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

25g (1oz) butter

350g (12oz) large flat mushrooms, quartered

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

600ml (1 pint) chicken or vegetable stock

150ml (5fl oz) double or regular cream

For the stuffed mushrooms

6 large flat mushrooms, stalks removed and retained

3 slices of white bread (stale is best), roughly torn

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

150g (5oz) Gruyère cheese, grated

75g (3oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated

1 tbsp finely chopped marjoram, plus extra to serve

75g (3oz) butter, melted

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Truffle oil, for drizzling (optional)

Marjoram leaves, to serve

1 Blend the onion and garlic in a food processor for a few seconds until finely chopped, or finely chop by hand using a sharp knife. Melt the butter in a large saucepan on a medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic for 2–3 minutes to soften a little, but not brown.

2 Blend the mushrooms in the food processor until finely chopped, or finely chop by hand. Add the mushrooms to the saucepan and sweat for 1–2 minutes or until softened. Season with salt and pepper, pour over the stock and bring slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20–25 minutes.

3 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6.

4 To make the stuffed mushrooms, place the mushroom stalks in the food processor along with the torn bread and garlic. Blend to fine crumbs and tip the mixture into a bowl. Alternatively, finely chop by hand and transfer to a bowl. Add the cheeses and the marjoram and then drizzle with the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper and toss everything together to combine.

5 Arrange the mushrooms on a baking tray, flat side down, and pile the stuffing mixture on top of each one. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft and the topping crisp and golden.

6 Once the soup has finished cooking, check the seasoning, then pour in the cream and simmer gently for a few minutes to warm through. Ladle the soup into wide soup bowls to a depth of no more than 2cm (¾in). Carefully place a stuffed mushroom in the centre of each bowl, drizzle over the truffle oil (if using) and decorate with the marjoram leaves.

Rachel’s tip

You can prepare the mushroom soup in advance (freezing it, if you wish) and then prepare the stuffed mushrooms on the day.

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